Small Steps Towards Modernized Employee Recognition Programs

Samantha Mikos

As new generations continue to enter the workforce, employee culture evolves and shapes to that new mold. Different generations have diverse needs and with that comes varying degrees of internal motivation and engagement. Younger generations continue to shy away from the traditional framework of companies. The best way to combat and bridge this disconnect is by upgrading outdated employee recognition programs. 

Although employee recognition programs may be woven into the fabric of company culture, many of these programs have been established many years, if not decades, ago. 

An update may be necessary, but not everyone is ready for a drastic change to their recognition program. Therefore, we have come up with a list of small steps that will get your program closer to a more modernized design. 


Sometimes, all you need to do in order to upgrade your recognition program is alter the chosen materials. Swapping out materials can elevate a design to mirror a high-quality feel and may even be more cost-efficient. 


For instance, if your company currently uses acrylic awards for the annual sales awards, you may upgrade to a crystal award. This switch will not only amp up the clarity levels of the award to give it a sleeker look and feel, but you will not necessarily have to sacrifice the budget to achieve these results. 


The finish of a recognition design may not always be the first item on your checklist, but it can make a significant change in the overall perception of the piece. Whether you have chosen to anodize or add color fill, these small details can take program quality to new heights. 

Polished metal will have an entirely different feel than two-tone metals. While polished metal will give the design a metallic feel, metals with two-tone coloring can further exemplify brand identify.


With the ever-evolving workplace culture, it is important to retain top talent. In order to be a game changer in the industry, you must modernize before your competition does. 

Using an out-of-the-box approach might be the best solution for you. Instead of a plaque that hangs on a wall, consider an interactive award that employees connect with daily. Spinning gears, puzzle pieces, neon lights – we have seen it all at Cristaux, and the possibilities for a one-of-a-kind program are endless. 


An open mind will give you a leg up when finalizing a recognition program design. At Cristaux, we have seen the recognition industry evolve over the past 12 years. We understand the direction of designs because as a business, we frequently upgrade our services to adapt to the changing market. 

At the end of the day, we are all human, and the mode in which we receive recognition must have a human element to it. If the process is done right, emotional tangibility will connect the recognition program design to the rewarded individual.


The design of a recognition program can sometimes be the most sacred aspect to a company. Therefore, we put it last on our list. Albeit, if your program design has not seen an upgrade in the last 5 years, it may be time to consider implementing some small enhancements. 


Make minor adjustments that complement the vision of your design. Introduce an element that identifies with the purpose or add a splash of company-branded color. The design does not necessarily need experience a full rebrand to elevate how it is received. 

When it comes to recognition programs, there is not one set standard to ensure a positive outcome. Connect with our team of experts to find the solution that works best for you.